[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on SILive.com, where I was a breaking news intern from January to August 2016.]
Mother Nature couldn’t wash away tradition at block parties Saturday in New Dorp and Sunnyside.
Fo 33 years now, residents on Rose Avenue have gathered for their annual party. Despite the rain, Saturday was no different.
“Even though it’s raining, we still have fun,” said Janice Kobryn, the New Dorp block party’s co-founder.
A neighbors-only breakfast kicked off the day at 9 a.m., giving them a chance to spend some time with one another and welcome new residents to the neighborhood.
Then, at 1 p.m., the street was opened to family and friends, who stopped by to enjoy music, food and other outdoor activities, including pinatas filled with candy.
Block party founder Larry Waldorf credited the event’s longevity to the tight-knit community.
“We all look out for each other,” he said. “That’s why we do it every year. The kids get the most out of running around in the street with their friends. Adults have a great time relaxing, not having to worry about driving to and from.”
“I want it to continue for my children, and just because I want to keep the tradition going,” Kobryn said.
Meanwhile, Dudley Avenue from Clove Road to Grand Avenue in Ssunnyside was transformed into Little Italy for a San Gennaro-style feast.
“Who needs Little Italy when you have Staten Italy?” joked resident Joe Sorrentino about the neighborhood’s 12th annual block party, which went from 3 to 9 p.m.
The day featured plenty of red, white and green, while kids got to enjoy some time in an inflatable bounce house.
While the two parties took place in separate communities miles apart, one thing held true at both events:
“It’s worth it, because it’s a labor of love,” Waldorf said.